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Rebuilding Sanford after dam failure floods county

Posted at 12:32 PM, Jul 08, 2020

The Village of Sanford was devastated over a month ago when two dams broke. Now, they've cleaned up and they're starting to rebuild.

The town still looks completely different than it did back in May.

The flood water is gone, but the town is left with its destruction.

Business owner Sandy Geiger says she's fortunate her building is still standing.

"Every restaurant in town is gone. The gas station's gone," she said. "I don't know what else to say. It just breaks your heart.

Her and her family own a business in downtown Sanford. After the dams broke, her business needed to be gutted and rebuilt.

"It's still heartbreaking to come here and see this every day and that we still have a business to come to, and everyone else is still trying to get their lives back together."

J&D Plumbing and Heating is still operating out of a different building down the road.

Even though they're fortunate to still be open, they haven't had much business.

"We've gone on a few runs, but honestly there's not many houses left."

"Now we're at the point where, pretty much, cleaned up. We're in the rebuilding phase. And this is where we're kind of stuck right now," Said Sanford building inspector, Brett Spangler.

He says they're stuck because they're not getting a lot of financial help.

"Nobody is getting help with any insurance money at all. We haven't heard very much from you know the federal government or the state as far as anything coming in to help us all the efforts that have gone into this so far has been nothing but, volunteers and money coming out of their own pockets of the business owners to try and rebuild."

Rebuilding, however, isn't a guarantee for everyone and Spangler says telling them they can't is one of the hardest things he has had to do.

"So that's tough I mean I was raised in Sanford I grew up here. And so I've seen these places. You know, for many, many years. And to see the whole town like this it's, it's just devastating to see the damage that this water has done."

Going forward, he says he just wants the lake back to bring business to town.

Geiger says she wants to see the dams rebuilt.

"I would like anyone out there listening to please rally for the dams to get rebuilt. because that's what we really need."